The Selfward Spiral
“The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God,” says James.
What’s the anger of man? The anger of man flows from “envy and evil desires”. My selfish anger: 1. My anger desires personal gratification and pleasure. My anger is roused when others do not gratify my personal desires. It expects others to gratify me, and uses others for physical and emotional highs, “loving” them for what they have rather than for who they are. But love “does not envy” (1 Cor. 13:4a). 2. My anger desires superiority and power. My anger is roused when others do not offer me social standing. My anger is smarmy, combative and calculated. But love “does not boast, is not proud” (1 Cor. 13:4b ) 3. My anger desires isolation and division. My anger desires autonomy, separation from others, peace and quiet. It prefers to build walls of isolation rather than bridges. It prefers my own way. But love “is not rude, it is not self-seeking.” 4. My anger desires self-justification and revenge. My anger would take vengeance and make everything square. It is the anger of Lamech: “if Cain is revenged seven-fold, then Lamech seventy-times seven!” My anger wishes to give others a painful and expensive education on my worth. But “love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5) God’s anger is outward moving, reconciliatory. My anger is a selfward spiral.